Wesley Fofana makes his Chelsea debut against West Ham United this afternoon, and there is a recall for Conor Gallagher in midfield – but there is no room in the starting XI for either Mason Mount or Kai Havertz.
Thomas Tuchel has decided to ring the changes after a poor defeat to Southampton in midweek; the result left the Blues tenth after the opening five matches of the campaign, and a reaction is required this afternoon against a West Ham side that have started the campaign in patchy form.
New boy Wesley Fofana is among the eight players to receive at least 75% of the vote, with Mason Mount and Armando Broja also collecting solid majorities at over 60%. Jorginho brings up the rear of the starting XI at 57%, with all other player receiving less than half the vote.
Conor Gallagher (43%), Kai Havertz (36%), Christian Pulisic (36%), Ben Chilwell (29%), Hakim Ziyech (16%), Trevoh Chalobah (16%), César Azpilicueta (8%) have work to do. Not sure when we’ll see Carney Chukwuemeka (5%).
Edouard Mendy keeps his place in goal for Chelsea and will be protected by a back three of Fofana, Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly. Fofana completed his £70million move from Leicester City earlier in the week and replaces Cesar Azpilicueta in the backline.
Reece James missed the defeat on Tuesday night due to illness but returned at right wing-back. Marc Cucurella gets the nod at left wing-back as Ben Chilwell continues to wait for a return to the side; the England international hasn’t started a game since the campaign’s opening day at Everton.
In midfield, Gallagher is back, having missed the defeat at St Mary’s due to suspension. He is likely to be given a more advanced role, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic playing in more defensively-minded roles.
Mout and Havertz have struggled in the early weeks of the season – neither have registered a goal or an assist – and they come out of the attack this afternoon. However, there is no Armando Broja with Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic set to be deployed as a front two.
Chelsea: Mendy; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher, Cucurella; Sterling, Pulisic
Chelsea team news
There are times in football when every mistake is punished and every opposition shot finds its mark. For Chelsea, it seems, that time is right now. The Blues have conceded the fourth-highest goal-per-shot rate in the top flight, with only Leicester, Bournemouth and Man City worse off. Last season the Londoners ranked fourth lowest.
More frustratingly, the side has taken the lead in four of the five fixtures, including at Southampton – where Raheem Sterling continued his spree of three goals from five shots in two matches – and have only held out for seven points. A few key players are obviously absent but, overall, most of those selected have not been on their game for all of the 90 minutes except, perhaps, against Tottenham.
On Saturday, Thomas Tuchel can welcome back Conor Gallagher and the injury that forced Ruben Loftus-Cheek off in the last game has proved not to be serious. With N’Golo Kante out and Mateo Kovacic clearly not 100 per cent as he recovers fitness after injury, Carney Chukwuemeka could see some action. Reassuringly, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah have both trained since missing Tuesday’s game.